Articulation, Hands On Therapy Activities, Language, Parent Tips

Parent Tip: Using Games to Encourage Speech and Language

Last week, I talked about using puzzles to work on your child’s speech. This week we are talking board games! Each and every household has at least 1 game. No video games are allowed in this!  Without further delay, let’s get to business!

Tips for Using Games to Encourage Speech and Language Blog

1. Candyland:  I SUPER PUFFY HEART Candyland for VARIOUS reasons!!  I like that no reading is involved which makes it easier for 3 years or even 2 1/2 year old kiddos.  Obviously, it is great for teaching colors.  However, it (like all over board games) opens itself to teaching turn-taking (which then opens up to teaching pronouns like “your turn” and “my turn”), following directions (“Go to the next blue spot.”) and situational conversations that start up during a game.  Candyland can be used to target even more language easily.  I like to have my older elementary clients tell something that is the color they picked.  So if they pick a red card, they have to tell a fruit that is red before they move to it.  You can also talk about ordinal numbers such as who is first, second, last.  It is even easier for articulation!  Before their turn, your child has to say a target word 3x correctly.

2.  Memory:  What is not to love about memory?!  Now it comes in every theme you can think of… Disney, Star Wars, Superheroes, etc.!  Here’s the thing to remember about memory…you don’t have to use ALL the cards!  Just because it comes with 96 pairs, you can scale it down to 10-12 pairs.  To work on articulation, just have your child say a target word correctly 3x.  To work on language, you can have your child use sentences to tell what he found like “I found Darth Vader.”  Bonus:  you can still work on turn taking and pronouns such as “my turn” and “your turn.”

3.  Checkers:  This game is great for slightly older kids!  The cognitive aspects that checkers address is fabulous.  The child has to think about what could happen if they move to a certain spot.  Will they be jumped?  Can they jump more than once?  The critical thinking skills are working and wheels are spinning which is something I LOVE!

4.  Connect 4:  See #3 for the reason why I love this game!  Cognition skills are in overdrive!

5.  Headbandz:  Great for working on asking questions and making conclusions using the clues!

6.  The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel:  I use this game every fall!  I love it because not only can I target my speech goals but it also works fine motor skills!  The child has to be able to close the squirrel (tongs) to pick up the acorn.

With Friday night coming up, it’s a perfect time for a family game night!  Order pizza, stock up on candy and popcorn and enjoy playing a good old fashioned board game!!


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